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Landmarks of Jamaica, Queens

From the birthplace of religious freedom to a theater, haunted by the ghost of a Civil War soldier, Queens celebrates its history through its landmarks. City historians agree with Queens’ passion for its past. Forty-eight Queens Landmarks have been officially designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, along with three historic districts.Landmark status is granted by a panel of eleven non-salaried, Mayoral appointees who recognize the need to protect architectural designs, historic districts, and the true design, nature or use of a site for historic purposes. Landmark status can also be granted to preserve an artistic quality.Queens landmarks registered by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission are as follows:
(Former) LOEW’S VALENCIA THEATER, 165-11 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, Queens, designated 5/25/99.(Former) FIRST REFORMED DUTCH CHURCH OF JAMAICA, 153-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, Queens, Sidney Young, 1858-90, addition Tuthill and Higgins, 1902. The bold massing and complex use of arched motifs make this one of the finest early Romanesque revival churches in New York.
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Though served by a circuit minister from 1661, church dates from 1702, when congregants broke away from joint services with the Presbyterian Church, in present quarters since 1984. Future home of the JAMAICA ARTS & BUSINESS CENTER, designated as a landmark 1/30/96LA CASINA, 90-33 160 St., Jamaica, (1933), now Jamaica Business Resource Center, designated as a landmark 1/30/96.SIDEWALK CLOCK on 161-1 Jamaica Ave., (1900). Many of New York’s commercial streets were once graced by cast iron clocks generally erected as advertisements by local stores, designated as a landmark 8/25/81.FORMER J. KURTZ & SONS STORE BUILDING, 162-24 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, Queens. The store is one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in Queens and a building of great prominence on the commercial thoroughfare of Jamaica Avenue, designated as a landmark 11/24/81

ST. MONICA’S CHURCH (R.C.), 94-20 160th St., Jamaica (Anders Peterson, builder, 1856-57). This brick church has a distinctive central campanile that is reminiscent of the Romanesque architecture of northern Italy. Erected by the master mason Anders Peterson under the supervision of the Reverend Anthony Farley, Saint Monica’s is one of the oldest surviving examples of Early Romanesque Revival architecture in New York, and one of the few Roman Catholic churches in the city executed in this style.

Owned by New York State and now located on the campus of York Community College, the building has been vacant since 1973, only the façade of the original building remains and will be incorporated into a new structure, designated as a landmark 3/13/79

PROPSPECT CEMETARY, 159 St., Beaver Rd., Jamaica, (c. 1680). This four-acre plot is the oldest cemetery in Queens. Established before 1668, the cemetery is the final resting place of many Revolutionary War veterans as well as members of such prominent Queens families as the Sutphins, Van Wycks and Merricks. A small Romanesque Revival chapel was erected in 1857 by Nicholas Ludlum in memory of his three daughters, designated as a landmark 1/11/77.

THE REGISTER/Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, 161-04 Jamaica Ave., (A.S. Macgregor, 1898), designated as a landmark 11/12/74.

GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH AND GRAVEYARD, 155-03 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica (Dudley Fields, 1861-62; chancel, Cady, Berg & See, 1901-02; graveyard. c 1734- ). Grace Church was founded in 1702 as the official church of the British colonial government by Anglicans who split from the Presbyterian Church. First church building rose in 1734; current Gothic Revival church built in 1862.  The congregation has worshiped at this site on the main street of Jamaica since 1734. The present church, a rough-cut brownstone Early English Gothic-inspired structure with a tall spite, is the third at this location. The early 20th-century chancel complements the design of the original building. Among those buried in the graveyard is Rufus King, whose house still stands 200 yards away to the west of Jamaica Avenue. Kingsland Homestead (current location), 143-35 37 Ave., designated as a landmark 4/19/66.

Other Points of Interest

JAMAICA CENTER ONE, an $80 million theatre and shopping complex, housing the 15-screen Jamaica Multiplex Cinema and big-name stores such as the GAP, Old Navy and Bally’s as tenants. It sits atop the City’s newest subway line. This is the largest commercial development to date in Jamaica Center and a significant sign of private-sector confidence in a market that has gone unrecognized. This project brings thousands of people to the area in the evenings and on weekends.FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF JAMAICA, 89-60 164th St. Founded in 1662; first stone church built in 1699, said to have been used as British prison in Revolutionary times. Present church, built on Jamaica Avenue in 1813, was pulled around the corner by mules in 1920. Celebrating 345years of service.Just one building west, the $70 million QUEENS FAMILY COURT is an elegant complex, twice the size of the facility it replaces; it also houses offices of some two dozen agencies which support the Court’s operations. This influx of activity has generated more customers for Jamaica businesses.The U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION’S (FDA), NORTHEAST REGIONAL LABORATORY AND HEADQUARTERS, opened on the York College Campus, positions York for growth in the health sciences, and offers Jamaica some unique opportunities for economic development. Industrial anchors here, exemplified by Interstate Brands Bakery (Wonder Bread) have expanded operations along Jamaica Avenue.

AIRTRAIN TERMINAL AT JAMAICA STATION, as the “Gateway to New York,” AirTrain is a great transportation boost for JFK International Airport travelers and employees.



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